A photographic history from Atari to Xbox • Mezha.Media

The gaming industry is old enough to have its own researchers, historians, and archaeologists who find priceless artifacts from its glorious past and display them to museum visitors or readers of special publications, like this artbook, The Game Console 2.0: A Photographic History from Atari to Xbox. Although in fact it is not quite an artbook. Rather, it is a historical survey of the gaming industry combined with a catalog of design trends from the 1970s-2020s. A fascinating read for those who started playing video games in the last century (millennium). Although younger generation gamers will definitely find a lot of interesting things in this book.

Title The Game Console 2.0: A Photographic History from Atari to Xbox
Gender art book
Author Evan Amos
Translation Unlocteam
Editor Press without starch, MAL’OPUS
Year of publication 2022
Page 312
Format 26×21cm
Binder hardcover
Language Ukrainian
Website MAL’OPUS

The first edition of The Game Console book, still without index 2.0, was published in 2018, and it appeared thanks to the perseverance of the author, who simply wanted to add good photos of game consoles from the past to Wikipedia articles , which were missing there. And so it began… This project fascinated Evan Amos so much that he started adding hundreds of photos, buying rare consoles and even creating a Kickstater, where anyone could support his passion.

As a result, Evan Amos became the owner of a huge collection of game consoles, made many acquaintances among passionate collectors of game rarities, and finally created this book, which is the summary of his many years of passion for game consoles.

Game Console 2.0 is the updated and improved second edition of the book, adding the latest 9th Gen consoles – Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 5, Xbox Series S|X and more, plus a few rare systems that were missing from the edition former . Also, the author has corrected some errors and the system sales figures.

If you were a fan of video games in the last century, then this artbook (so be it, although we believe it is a false definition) will be a pleasant encounter with the past, a kind of journey into the time that will transport you to childhood. It’s really a very moving moment to remember his first initiation into the world of video games, his first console, his first victories and defeats. But it is quite expensive.

On the other hand, The Game Console 2.0 is a rather dry, almost academic publication, which simply presents facts about each console of each generation and provides their photos, but. There is something here from the catalog of a historical exhibition or an ethnographic selection created after a trip to an exotic country. “The Ritual Spear of the Aborigines of the Island of Sumatra” – “a mysterious model of the Atari Mirai console case, which has never been commercialized”.

The book begins with the first consumer gaming device – the Magnavox Odyssey console (1972), not with Ralph Baer’s famous “Brown Box” (1967) because Baer’s project was only a prototype which was not has not been marketed. On the other hand, the Brown Box is also in this book. So are very rare and offbeat consoles, like the Coleco Telstar Arcade (1977) with steering wheel and gun, the first handheld console Microvision (1979), the educational console (yes, there was even one) Interactive Vision (1989) , Nintendo’s semi-portable Virtual Boy 3D glasses console (1995), and the very strange Tiger R-Zone (1995) headband-shaped console with an over-one-eye display.

But what The Game Console 2.0 lacks is a PC. The author warns of this at the beginning of the book, and we even understand why he decided to do so. In the case of adding a PC, its configuration would have to be changed every year. On the other hand, the book contains pre-configured PCs and quasi-PCs from well-known console manufacturers. You can, for example, add nine PCs, one for each set-top box generation, and specify a range of configurations. Although that may be the subject of a separate book. We could even do something similar ourselves, if we hadn’t lost the archive with “Home PC” photos from 1998-2011.

In The Game Console 2.0 book, even Ukraine is mentioned. It turns out that we make some of the best retrogaming devices. These are EverDrive devices developed by Ukrainian engineer Ihor KRIKzz Holubovskyi. By the way, EverDrive actively helps the armed forces.

The translation of the book for the MAL’OPUS publishing house was carried out by a team of Unlocteam game translators, who are familiar with the terminology. And the translation is really good. The only thing we didn’t really like was the overuse of verbs. In addition, it would be interesting to translate the signs of certain currencies: not all readers know how the Brazilian real or the South Korean won are indicated in writing.

The Game Console 2.0: A Photographic History from Atari to Xbox is a truly unique book that (yes, we know it’s a cliché) would make a great gift for anyone who loves video games. Moreover, we are very pleased with the fact that even during a full-scale war, Ukrainian publishing houses work and produce such unusual, rare and expensive books. Although on the other hand, 900 UAH for an edition of this class, at the current price of books in octavio format in the paper binding of 200-300 UAH is not even so expensive.

So we support Ukrainian, read Ukrainian, buy Ukrainian!

Michael E. Marquez